Knife Takedown is a feature in the Battlefield series. The player holds when an enemy is targeted, and the animation automatically begins.
— A loading screen tip regarding Knife Takedown
Introduced in Battlefield 3, holding the button while behind or beside an enemy will perform a fatal takedown attack. Frontal melee attacks will be mere knife slashes, unless the attack is initiated from the rear, side, or the enemy subsequently turns to face the player at the last second, in which case a unique takedown attack will occur. When in range of a takedown target, the knife is raised to a vertical 'ready' position—the knife is held horizontally when equipped if there is no target, or if the target is not in range.
Players have to decide whether the extra time and exposure during a takedown are worth the risk, especially when other alert enemies are nearby. There are twelve takedown animations in all, four for each stance.
When a takedown is performed, the knife user is awarded the victim's Dogtags which is unobtainable in any other way. When attacking with a knife, the player does not appear on the radar; however, knife sound effects may reveal their position.
|Front||Standing||The attacker grabs the target's weapon and stabs him in the chest. He steals his dogtags as he falls to the ground.|
|Left||Standing||The attacker shoves the target's weapon down and stabs him under the chin. He grabs the target's dogtags with the blade hilt as he drops him to the ground.|
|Right||Standing||The attacker grabs the target's shoulder and spins him around. He stabs the target in the chest, grabs his dogtags, and shoves him to the ground.|
|Back||Standing||The attacker pulls the target back by the shoulder, reaches over and stabs him in the chest. He grabs the target's dogtags with his index finger and pulls the knife out.|
|Front||Crouch||As the target turns to the attacker, the attacker pushes him back by the shoulder and stabs him in the chest. The attacker grabs the target's dogtags as he falls to the ground.|
|Left||Crouch||The attacker shoves the target's weapon down and stabs him in the chest. He releases the weapon and grabs the target's dogtags before removing the knife.|
|Right||Crouch||The attacker pushes the target onto the ground and stabs him in the chest. The attacker grabs the target's dogtags as he stands back up.|
|Back||Crouch||The attacker pulls the target back by the shoulder and quickly stabs him in the chest. The target falls back in shock as the attacker pulls his dogtags off.|
|Front||Prone||The attacker lunges down, reaches over the target's weapon, and stabs him in the throat. The attacker nabs the target's dogtags with the knife blade and stands back up.|
|Left||Prone||The attacker reaches down from the left and stabs the target in the throat. The attacker nabs the target's dogtags with the knife blade and stands back up.|
|Right||Prone||The attacker kicks the target in the ribs and rolls him over. The attacker lunges down and stabs the target in the chest, grabs his dogtags with his index finger, twists the knife, and stands back up.|
|Back||Prone||The attacker grabs the target from behind and pulls him up slightly. He stabs the target in the chest and steals his dogtags with his free hand.|
The Knife Takedown feature from Battlefield 3 returns in Battlefield 4, albeit with new features. Takedowns can now be initiated from 360 degrees, completely eliminating the possibility of slashing an adversary.
Takedowns can now also be performed while swimming, along with use of sidearms. Balancing this is the ability to counterattack frontal takedowns within a limited time frame. Victims of knife takedowns are now unable to be revived. There are still twelve animations for takedowns, which depend on the angle of attack and the stance of the players. Strangely enough, the animation is unchanged regardless of whether or not they're on land or in water; standing animations are played for players on the surface of the water while prone animations are played if they are diving.
Aesthetically, takedown animations are much more violent and involve more hand-to-hand combat techniques compared to those in Battlefield 3, with players performing punches, kicks, grapples, stabbing targets multiple times, and performing cutting attacks instead of stabs.
When under attack from the front in either the standing or crouching stance, the target has a HUD prompt appear and has roughly 4 seconds to pressbefore the attack connects and the player is killed. A successful counter-attack turns the knife on the attacker and kills them, awarding the victor with the enemy's dogtags. It should be noted though that a kill with the enemy's knife through a counter-attack will score as a kill with the enemy's model, and not the player's.
Counter-knifing can also be performed in the water. A missed counter attempt will result in the attacker eventually overwhelming the target, which takes longer to complete than a side or rear takedown.
Counter attacks cannot be performed if stabbed while prone or diving; the player being stabbed does actually try to hold back the attack as with the other frontal attacks, but is actually shoved back before he can brace the attacker's strike in this case.
|Front||Standing||The attacker attempts to stab the target in the chest, but the target grabs and holds back his arm. The attacker punches the target in the face with his left fist, dropping the target's guard. He stabs the target in the chest and steals his dogtags.|
|Front Counter||Standing||The attacker attempts to stab the target in the chest, but the target grabs and holds back his arm. The target grabs the attacker's elbow with his left hand and shoves the attacker's forearm down with his right, causing him to stab himself in the abdomen. He rips off the attacker's dogtags as he falls.|
|Left||Standing||The attacker shoves the knife edge into the target's jugular vein. The target grabs the attacker's chest in shock while the attacker rips off his dogtags. The target is shoved backwards and spun around as the attacker forcefully pulls the knife out.|
|Right||Standing||The attacker grabs the target's shoulder and punches his face with the butt of the knife. The attacker stabs the target's throat and pulls off his dogtags as he falls to the ground.|
|Back||Standing||The attacker grabs the target's left shoulder and kicks out his right leg. As he falls back, the attacker spins the defender around, stabs him in the chest, and steals his dogtags as he falls to the ground.|
|Front||Crouch||The attacker attempts to stab the target's throat but the target holds back his arm. The attacker rips off the target's dogtags and does a straight knee strike to his chin. The attacker pulls the target back by the collar as he recoils, stabs him in the right side of his neck, and throws him to the ground.|
|Front Counter||Crouch||The attacker attempts to stab the target's throat but the target holds back his arm. The target uppercuts the attacker and pulls his dogtags off. The target grabs the attackers right wrist and forces the attacker to slit his own throat with the knife and shoves him to the ground.|
|Left||Crouch||The attacker lunges down, grabs the target's right arm, and slices his jugular. The attacker grabs the target's dogtags and pushes him to the ground.|
|Right||Crouch||The attacker reaches over the target's arm and rips off the target's dogtags. The target turns startled, and is stabbed in the chest and shoved to the ground.|
|Back||Crouch||The attacker puts the target in a headlock, pulls him back, and stabs him in the chest. He pulls off his dogtags and drops him to the ground.|
|Front||Prone||The attacker lunges down to stab the target, while the target tries to raise his hand to hold him back. The attacker shoves the target's arm and twists it over his back, forcing him to roll over. The attacker leans down, stabs the target in the throat, and steals his dogtags.|
|Left||Prone||The attacker kicks the target's left elbow, making him drop his weapon. The attacker drops to his knees, rolls the target on his side, grabs his dogtags, and uses a two-handed upward slash to slice his throat.|
|Right||Prone||The attacker rolls the target over by kicking him in the ribs. He lunges downward, holds the target down, and stabs him once in the neck, and 2 times in the chest. The attacker pulls off his dogtags and stands back up.|
|Back||Prone||The attacker jumps on the target's back as he turns in surprise. The attacker pulls off the target's dogtags and stabs him in the throat.|
The Knife Takedown mechanic is also featured in Battlefield Hardline. Similar to their iteration from Battlefield 3, takedowns may only be performed while standing behind the enemy, otherwise a knife will perform a normal melee attack for 75 damage. Functioning in conjunction with Non-Lethal Takedowns, Knife takedowns may only be performed with a blade and do not allow the player to Interrogate the target, but are significantly faster than Non-Lethal Takedowns.
There are nine knife takedown animations, three for each stance. Reflecting the cops and criminals nature of Hardline, the lethal takedown animations have the player character appear noticeably less well trained compared to the takedowns performed by the soldiers in Battlefield 3 and 4, with him performing crude maneuvers including stabbing the target directly through the head and forcing the knife through the target's eye after a struggle. Animations are also much faster compared to previous installments due to the addition of non-lethal takedowns.
Patches, which replaced dogtags from past installments, are awarded to players upon successfully performing a takedown animation. As with other installments, they are not made available for use after being awarded unless they are "Viral Patches". These patches are developer exclusive and may only be obtained by performing a takedown. Likewise, if any viral patch that was obtained from a developer is equipped, then it may also be obtained by those who perform a takedown on the player, hence the name "viral".
|Left||Standing||The attacker grabs the target and stabs him twice in the side, dropping him to the ground afterward.|
|Right||Standing||The attacker spins his knife to hold it in a standard grip, and stabs the target through the throat.|
|Back||Standing||The attacker grabs the target by the shoulder, reaches over his chest, and stabs him in the throat. The attacker pulls out the knife with his left hand as the target falls.|
|Left||Crouching||The attacker reaches down, stabs the target in the chest, and spins them backwards onto the ground.|
|Right||Crouching||The attacker forcefully stabs the target in the top of the head. He pulls the knife out and lets the target drop to the ground.|
|Back||Crouching||The attacker pulls the target back and onto the ground. He leans down and uses both hands to stab the target in the chest before standing back up.|
|Left||Prone||The attacker grabs the target's right shoulder and pulls him onto his side. He reaches over and stabs the target in the throat.|
|Right||Prone||The attacker kicks the target to roll him on his back. The attacker tries to quickly stab the target but he brings his hands up and holds back the knife at the last moment. The two struggle momentarily before the attacker overpowers the target, forcing the knife into his left eye.|
|Back||Prone||The attack reaches down and turns the target onto his back. He stabs the target in the chest, then uses both hands to twist the knife before standing back up.|
The Knife Takedown returns in Battlefield 1. Takedowns are also available for blunt weapons and hand tools. Similar to past installments, they may be performed on any stance of the enemy, although animations for standing and crouching are now combined. Takedowns are generally quicker than in previous games, and the kill is credited much sooner. All knives and daggers perform the same animations, except for the Sawtooth Knife that uses the same animations as the Cavalry Sword and hand tools.
Takedowns occur any time that a melee weapon would inflict lethal damage on an opponent, although rear and prone takedowns can be performed on enemies with full health. Melee weapons inflict less damage to enemies facing the player, but may still result in a takedown.
|Front||Standing/Crouching||The attacker stabs the target in his heart, grabs his shoulder with his left hand, and drives the knife deeper with a second thrust.|
|Left||Standing/Crouching||The attacker stabs the target in the ribs and pulls out. As the target drops his weapon and reaches for his injury, the attacker punches him in the face.|
|Right||Standing/Crouching||The attacker grabs the target's shoulder and stabs his heart. The attacker twists the knife, more so than for the front animation.|
|Back||Standing/Crouching||The attacker grabs the target and drives the knife high into his chest.|
|Front||Prone||The attacker kicks the target in the face, then stabs him in the neck.|
|Left||Prone||The attacker thrusts into the target's side, turning him over slightly, and stabs a second time in the stomach.|
|Right||Prone||The attacker stabs the target in the chest and twists the knife.|
|Back||Prone||The attacker stabs the target in the side of his throat, turns him over, then stabs him again in the chest.|
- The victim of the takedown is invincible to other forms of damage (except during a frontal attack in Battlefield 4), while the attacker always remains vulnerable to external attacks, even after a frontal attack is countered. This can result in melee kills being stolen by both teams depending on the timing if there are other players attacking during the confrontation.
- Players performing a takedown from the maximum distance abruptly teleport to and back from the targeted player before and after the attack. Later games place the player at the victim's position following the attack.
- The crouching counter animation is glitched in third-person, causing the attacking player to be teleported backwards when the counter begins. At the end of the counter, the victim will teleport to where the attacker was standing.
- If a player initiates a frontal attack, the defending player is vulnerable to enemy attack up until the point where they initiate the counter knife, in which case they will become invincible until the attack is complete, whether by a successful counter knife or the attacker being killed by bystanding players.
- There is a glitch where the victim, if turning towards the attacker either from the left or right (whichever side the attacker initiates the takedown from), is capable of countering the knife despite the rear-attack animation playing. This is evident by a quick showing of the "Counterattack" button while being attacked, and if one presses it within the half-second window, they perform the counter-knife. From the attacker's perspective, the normal rear-attack animation will play before switching to the counter animation and killing him.
- There is a glitch affecting the victim of a knife takedown when attacked from the side. The animation for a frontal attack, of the player defending, will play instead, but will offer no prompt to "Counterattack" and the victim will be killed. On the following killcam, the victim's perspective shows the player stuck in the defending animation until they respawn.
- When initiating a knife takedown from the front while the enemy is prone, the enemy is still alive even after being stabbed for about 3 seconds. The attacker cannot use a weapon until the victim is dead, which makes the attacker extremely vulnerable. Sometimes, the victim can redeploy, to avoid giving the attacker a kill. If the attacker gets killed, the victim is completely fine and loses no health. It is not known if this is a glitch or intended by DICE.
- Although dogtags are still claimed for all takedowns, none of the animations incorporate the act of removing the dogtag from the victim.
- Teammates generally cannot be saved from takedowns once the animation begins, as the player is considered killed on the first hit. Players may still find themselves briefly caught in takedown animations, but saved if their attacker is killed before the animation begins for their teammate.